New GFBWT Sites Added in Rural Counties!


In 2011, the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail (GFBWT) launched an initiative to add new birding and wildlife viewing locations in Florida’s rural counties and Rural Areas of Critical Economic Concern. The GFBWT promotes both famous and smaller, local sites to spread out wildlife watchers and their tourism dollars into the surrounding communities. Wildlife viewers help local communities by spending money on gas, food, lodging, rental fees, photo equipment and other related items.

The FWC received nominations for 34 sites in 19 counties, and staff visited and evaluated each of these locales in spring and summer 2012. After final review by the GFBWT’s steering committee, 23 new sites in 15 counties were accepted. Three counties--Calhoun, De Soto, and Union--are included for the first time. At present, all but three of Florida’s 67 counties have at least one GFBWT destination. The new sites are listed below.

County: Site Name

De Soto: Morgan Park

De Soto: Brownville Park

Hendry: Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum Boardwalk

Hendry: Devils Garden Bird Park

Hendry: Riverside Retreat

Hendry: Spirit of the Wild Wildlife Management Area

Highlands: Sun N Lakes Preserve

Highlands: Windy Point Park

Okeechobee: Taylor Creek Stormwater Treatment Area

Suwannee: The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park 

Levy: Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve

Gilchrist: Otter Springs Park and Campground

Union: Lake Butler/Lakeside Park

Putnam: Etoniah Creek State Forest

Flagler: River to Sea Preserve

Flagler: Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area

Walton: Chipley Park/Lake DeFuniak

Jackson:Chipola River Greenway: Hinson Conservation & Recreation Area

Jackson: Chipola River Greenway: Butler Tract

Jackson: Apalachee Wildlife Management Area (Zone A)

Calhoun: Blountstown Greenway Complex/Sam Atkins Park

Gulf: St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve

Franklin: Apalachicola River Ramble Trail and Boardwalk

Information about these sites will be added to the GFBWT website, Trip-Planning Wizard and mobile application later in 2013. 

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